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Anderston – Kelvingrove active travel study

Published 28 January 2015 by John Webster

John Webster reports from the 27/01/15 launch of the Anderston – Kelvingrove Study, as organised by the Glasgow Centre for Population Health (GCPH)

This meeting was held at The Lighthouse in Glasgow on 27 January 2015 and presented the results of a study of the views of users of this cycle/walking friendly route opened in July 2013. This is the first stage of a Glasgow initiative to develop a series of such routes across the city to encourage more active forms of transport.

The route starts in Waterloo Place, behind Central Station, and includes, for the most part, an excellent segregated cycle lane that runs first of all to a new foot/cycle bridge over the M8 then on to Kelvingrove Park where it joins a shared-use path to reach the Kelvingrove Museum complex. Cycling time between the two points is given as 12 minutes.

Signage is located along the route giving distances and cycling/walking times to the destination. It is therefore a continental style cycle route offering a safe route between the city centre and the area served with kerbing used to separate car and cyclist and was developed as part of the Connect2 initiative led by Sustrans.

The seminar presented the findings from a study commissioned by the GCPH to explore the views of users using the new cycling and walking route based on structured interviews with 111 cyclists and 48 walkers between the 1 – 11th October 2014. The study was carried out jointly by ODS Consulting and Research Resource.

The main use of the route was for commuting to work (43%) followed by shopping and personal business (22%) and then other uses. Most users used only part of the route but those who used the whole route tended to be cyclists, as might be expected; 87% of cyclists interviewed used the route at least weekly.

Most users had positive views on the route as regards appearance and attractiveness and the segregation from road traffic was especially highlighted as promoting safer cycling; 25% of users had given up using bus or car to use the route by preference.

The most negative aspect was seen as the signposting with some users finding it difficult to pick up the route on the Anderston side after crossing the bridge (I walked the route after the meeting and also found this section confusing).

Looking ahead, the need for greater connectivity between this route and others within the city was highlighted and a need to raise awareness of the existence of the route with motorists were identified. A desire for more routes of this type and quality was also flagged up by users.

I feel the need to raise awareness is important because when I walked the route I had a job finding where it started as I am not too familiar with Glasgow. Near Central Station, I asked two traffic wardens about the route and they had never even heard of it and one even denied that such a route existed!

The meeting ended with short presentations and discussions between Rowena Colpitts (Sustrans), Graham Baker (Edinburgh University), Fiona Crawford (GCPH), Ian Maxwell (Spokes) and Frank McAveety (Glasgow City Council).

The full research report with lots of useful information is entitled “A mixed method study exploring the views of cyclists and pedestrians using the new Kelvingrove – Anderston route in Glasgow” by Emma Hewitt & Katy MacMillan (ODS Consulting) and Lorna Shaw (Research Resource).